Warm up your weeknight

We love soup. Really, we could eat soup every day of the year. A good soup is hard to top. Perhaps it’s the ability to mix tons of ingredients to come up with a satisfying fusion of flavor that we enjoy the most. 

Sure, soup isn’t always top of mind in the sweltering heat, but this time of year it is certainly a great go-to option. Hearty and satisfying choices like chili and vegetable beef are easy selections, but the sky is nearly limitless when it comes to creating flavorful soups for the entire family. 

Even examining one small category of soups—I’ll use chili for this example—there are so many variables that make very different outcomes. Those variables can be the meat-to-bean ratio, type of meat (ground beef, steak, or chicken/turkey for white chili), level of heat/spice (some like a 10-alarm chili that will alert the fire department while others don’t want any hint of heat), and of course whether to include vegetables and which vegetables are acceptable (tomatoes only or what about adding corn or even zucchini?).  

Lately, we’ve been trying a lower carbohydrate diet and focusing on protein in our house. Here are a couple of recipes we have enjoyed.

Philly Cheesesteak Soup


3 c. beef stock 

2 c. milk 

1.5 lb. beef roast, cut into bite sized pieces 

1 medium sized green peppers, diced 

1/2 medium sized sweet onion, diced 

8 oz. sliced mushrooms, roughly chopped 

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter 

1/2 c. all-purpose flour 

1 clove garlic, minced 

1 tsp. salt 

1 tsp. pepper 

1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning 

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1/2 tsp. garlic powder 

1/2 tsp. onion powder 

2 1/2 c. Monterey jack cheese 

Instant Pot Directions:

1. Turn your Instant Pot on to sauté and add butter. When butter is melted, add garlic, green peppers and onions. Cook until onions start to become translucent (about 3 minutes).

2. Add mushrooms and cook for another minute. Click the off button on the Instant Pot.

3. Add beef roast, beef stock and seasonings.

4. Place lid on Instant Pot and cook on manual high pressure for 10 minutes. When timer is up, allow for a 10-minute natural pressure release. After 10 minutes, release all of the remaining pressure. 

5. Toward the end of the manual release time, whisk flour into milk.

6. Turn Instant Pot on to sauté and stir in the milk/flour mixture. Cook on sauté until soup starts to thicken (about 5 minutes). When soup is thick, add cheese and stir until well combined. 

Slow Cooker Directions:

1. Add butter to skillet on stove. When butter is melted, add garlic, green peppers and onions. Cook until onions start to become translucent.

2. Add mushrooms and cook for another minute. 

3. Add sautéed vegetable mixture to slow cooker, then mix in roast beef, beef stock and seasonings. 

4. Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. 

5. When ready to eat, whisk flour into milk. Stir in to slow cooker. Add cheese and stir until well combined.

Ham & White Bean Soup


1 lb. Great Northern beans, soaked

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 medium carrot, diced

1 medium onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium tomato, peeled and diced

1 lb. ham, cubed

4 c. vegetable stock

2 c. tap water

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp. dried mint

1 tsp. thyme

1 tsp. paprika


1. Sort and clean beans. Soak beans. For a quick soak, place the beans in large saucepan with about 7 cups water. Bring to rapid boil on medium high heat and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain soak water and rinse beans. To soak overnight, place beans in large saucepan with about 7 cups water. Cover and let stand overnight or at least 6 hours. Drain the soak water and rinse. The soup will become thicker if you use the overnight soak method.

Instant Pot Directions:

1. Press the “sauté” button on the Instant Pot and add the oil, carrot, onion, garlic and tomato to the pot. Cook stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. This is an optional step. You can dump everything in at once if you want.

2. Dump the remaining ingredients in the Instant Pot and close the lid. Lock the lid, move the valve to sealing and cook on manual for 15 minutes. 

3. When the ham and bean soup is done and you hear the beep sound, click the Cancel/Keep Warm button. Let natural pressure release for 10 minutes and then quick release until all the pressure is out. Open lid and serve warm.

Slow Cooker Directions:

1. Add everything to the slow cooker crock and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.

Stove Top Directions:

1. Add cold water to cover the soaked beans by about 1 inch. Bring to boil over high heat, boil for 5 minutes.

2. Add sliced carrot, tomato, onion, garlic, ham and drizzle about 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, paprika, crushed mint and thyme. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally, or until beans are tender.